Situated on the southeastern side of the Aegean Sea, the Dodecanese island complex consists of twelve large islands and many smaller ones. They are famous for their stunning beaches, turquoise waters and rich historical background, with ancient and Medieval monuments still surviving through centuries.
Either very popular, like Rhodes and Kos, or receiving less tourists, this island complex has some great holiday destinations. Here are our suggestions for Dodecanese best islands to visit for holidays.
The magnificent Rhodes is a very popular destination, with never-ending sunshine, stunning sandy shores and exciting beach resorts. A stroll around Rhodes Town will take you to awe-inspiring Medieval buildings, such as the Palace of the Grand Master, several castle gates and the famous Street of the Knights.
After a romantic walk in town, you can relax or have fun in the many bars nearby. If you enjoy parks, don’t fail to visit the Seven Springs, the Valley of the Butterflies and Rodini Park.
A great traditional village in Rhodes is Lindos, renowned for its spectacular Acropolis. Holidays in Rhodes can easily be combined with other islands, as ferries connect Rhodes with many other islands of Dodecanese, some islands in Cyclades and also with Crete.
History and natural beauty are the trademarks of the charming island of Kos, one of the Dodecanese best islands for summer holidays. Due to its large size, Kos offers a variety of landscapes, including sandy beaches, verdant parks and valleys.
Kos, famous as the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, also has a lot of interesting sightseeing. The most important are the Medieval Castle in Kos Town, the 4th-century archaeological site of Asklepieion, the 15th century Castle of Antimachia, and many others.
In the scenic villages of Kos, like Zia, visitors will experience traditional hospitality and excellent cuisine. For beach holidays, visit Kardamena, Kefalos, Mastichari and the other lovely beach resorts on the island. The trip by ferry from Piraeus port in Athens to Kos takes approximately 9 hours.
Widely known as the island of the Apocalypse, where Saint John the Theologian wrote the Book of Revelation, Patmos is a popular destination in the Dodecanese, mostly due to its rich religious tradition. However, apart from the spiritual atmosphere, Patmos actually offers great tourist resorts, like Skala or Kambos. There are also a lot of nice beaches with golden sand or soft pebbles.
In the beautiful Chora, which has been excellently preserved, visitors will find a large number of Medieval sightseeing, enjoy romantic walks and amazing views to the Aegean Sea. Ferries to Patmos depart from the port of Piraeus 3 times a week, while there are also daily ferries from other popular islands of Dodecanese, such as Rhodes and Kos.
Karpathos is surely among the Dodecanese best islands, due to its unspoiled natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. Geographically located between Rhodes and Crete, it is perfect for relaxing holidays, excellent for families, trekkers, and nature lovers. Apart from the wild nature, Karpathos is mostly famous for its exotic beaches, such as the beaches of Kyra Panagia, Apella and Amoopi. Some Karpathos beaches, like Afiartis, also have ideal conditions for windsurfing.
The inland of Karpathos is dotted with scenic villages, which still keep the traditional way of life. Board a Ferry to Karpathos from Athens or Crete (ports of Heraklion or Sitia) and explore this secluded place with the distinctive natural beauty.
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